Now that were past the mid-summer point otherwise known as July 4th, now's about as good a time as any to start thinking about the return of the CW's "Arrowverse" shows. With Arrow shuffling off the network's programming coil after an abbreviated eighth season (making The Flash the "elder states-show" of the "Arrowverse"), Ruby Rose-starrer Batwoman joining the family, and a looming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover that could change things dramatically (more on that below), the 2019-2020 season isn't exactly going to be lacking in change.
No one understands that better that better than Arrow star Stephen Amell, who first announced the series' end in March 2019. Since that time, there's been a ton of rumors and speculation swirling around regarding storylines, returning characters, etc. – especially with a looming "Crisis" on the horizon. But once all of the smoke clears from the rumor/innunedo/specualation dumpster fire, there's really only one thing left to do: film the final season.
Which is exactly what Amell and the Arrow crew are doing, with work on the season opener (directed by James Bamford) beginning Thursday – officially confirmed by Amell via social media:
Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow co-creator/writer/EP Marc Guggenheim took to Twitter to tease fans about what they expect when the Emerald Archer returns for an eighth and final season this fall. In the tweets below, he revealed two close-up images of some serious leather – but whose? Connor Hawke (Joseph David Jones), who we're expected to see more of next season? Maybe Mia Smoak's (Katherine McNamara) future suit? Since we're talking "Crisis," could it be a version we haven't seen yet from another universe – maybe with a familiar face?
Guggenheim's keeping things a little vague – but he does clarify a few things:
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) July 3, 2019
Not Oliver's. pic.twitter.com/FwOKOibcuw
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) July 4, 2019
These are two different costumes. pic.twitter.com/hW8cAdmear
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) July 5, 2019
Guggenheim also teased that some news would be coming out of this year's San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) regarding guest stars for the final run of The CW's Arrow:
Count on it. https://t.co/zbajoYIdjG
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) July 7, 2019
The same day that Guggenheim signaled that work on the crossover was already underway (the earliest they've started work on an "Arrowverse" crossover), LaMonica Garrett introduced fans on Twitter to the first day of table reads – and to his very own "Monitor Mini-Me" the following day:
On Saturday, July 20, the "Arrowverse" takes over SDCC's Ballroom 20 for a morning session with Batwoman (10:30–11:45 a.m.). Starting mid-afternoon, the CW begins a gauntlet of presentations: Arrow (3:30–4:15 p.m.), Supergirl (4:15–5:00 p.m.), Black Lightning (5:00–5:45 p.m.), and The Flash (5:45–6:30 p.m.).
The CW's Batwoman and Supergirl premiere Sunday, October 6; while The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 8, with Arrow joining them on October 15. Black Lightning premieres the following week, on Monday, October 21.
The Road to "Crisis on Infinite Earths"
Viewers can't say they weren't warned in advance. At the end of 2018's CW Arrowverse "Elseworlds" crossover that brought together The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl (and nearly DC's Legends of Tomorrow, but they let it go to machine – way too busy for all that), we saw that the end was only the beginning… of the end. As Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Amell) shared what felt like a final toast and Kate Kane's Batwoman (Rose) returned to protecting the streets of Gotham – with a sense that something felt a little off – we got a small taste of what's still to come in 2019…
"Crisis on Infinite Earths!" Worlds will live! Worlds will die!
And the CW's "Arrowverse" will never be the same…
At CW's 2019 May Upfronts presentation, the network offered a few "'Crisis' management" clues for info-starved fans. This year's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover will include Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman; the entire story will be five hours long; and the event will air over two quarters (3 episodes in December 2019, 2 episodes January 2020). There were initial concerns that DC's Legends of Tomorrow would not be involved – as the series won't be returning until midseason – but the announcement resolved that matter.
Curiously enough, Black Lightning is not listed as participating in the crossover event – surprising considering the "infinte earths" aspect lends itself to "guest appearances" from a number of televised DC properties (past and present) that aren't directly connected to the CW's properties. With that said? We're trusting our instincts, which tell us the Pierce family will be residing in the "Arrowverse" by the time the red skies clear.
For most of their respective seasons, things have been "All Quiet on the 'Crisis' Front" when it came to Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl – but that changed in a big way during their respective season finales… even for DC's Legends of Tomorrow!
In Arrow season finale "You Have Saved This City," the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) returns to cash in on the favor that Oliver owes him: help him save the multiverse – taking a moment to tell him the "fine print": Oliver's going to die during "Crisis" and there's nothing the Monitor can do to stop it.
Then there's that matter of Future Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and the trip she's taking with the Monitor to see Oliver… somewhere… and it's apparently a place she can't come back from. Hmmm…
Over at The Flash season finale "Legacy," some recent maneuverings with Time moved up the date on Barry's "red skies/2024" newspaper warning just a wee bit… to say, 2019?
The fourth season finale of Supergirl "The Quest for Peace" had The Monitor speaking to a hooded figure, telling him that now is the time for him to lead "his people" and to take revenge on his captor… and brother: J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood). Meanwhile, just because Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) may have shuffled off this mortal coil (???) doesn't mean his role in the upcoming "Crisis" is over quite yet…
DC's Legends of Tomorrow season finale "Hey, World!" found the plan to take down Neron (Brandon Routh) resulting in a major status quo change for Zari (Tala Ashe) – a change that the suddenly-appearing Monitor does not appear to approve of in any way, shape, or form. At least he got some popcorn out of it – and yes, that is The Book of Destiny he's using to balance it.